Logo Top Banner
slogan Alaska Timeline Alaska Kids About
Peer Work
Family & Community
History & Culture
Digital Archives
Narrative & Healing
Reading & Writing
Reading Out Loud

Love of Reading

Inspiring Readers

Featured Writers

Creative Contests

Pass The Word

Libraries & Booksellers
Teaching & Learning
Contact Us

  Search Litsite Alaska
Find us on Facebook


Home  >  Reading and Writing  >  Pass the Word
Sitka Symposium on Human Values and the Written Word

When you want to participate in the highest quality conversation you'll have all year, join us for the Sitka Symposium. Thoughtful people gather to focus imagination, critical thinking and humor on a different subject each year--all based around human values and the written word.

The Symposium

Intense Discussion at the Sitka Symposium

Each summer since 1984, the Sitka Symposium has explored relationships between writing and questions of social and ethical importance, between ideas and the responsibilities of our work and our lives.

Because so much about our human lives is recorded and preserved through language, we have framed each symposium with a guest faculty of writers and thinkers whose work lends insight to questions posed by a selected theme.

We deliberately bring together a faculty from diverse backgrounds to juxtapose different disciplines and perspectives--astronomers and novelists, poets and anthropologists, Westerners and Alaska Natives, naturalists and linguists, folklorists and biologists.

The Symposium is dedicated to exploring ideas through written and oral traditions in a context broad enough to make it an important experience for people of diverse backgrounds--teachers, administrators, ministers, students, scientists, artists, lawyers, doctors, counselors, as well as published and aspiring writers.

Participants walk the Indian River trail

This remarkable mix forms the conceptual foundation of the Sitka Symposium, infusing it with a unique character. Through lectures, readings, and discussions, the Symposium challenges people to consider a wide range of questions in relation to their lives and work as individuals and members of particular communities.

The Symposium is often thought to be a writers' conference, which it is not in a true sense. Our focus is not so much the craft of writing and the business of getting published, but rather a rich context of ideas.

The Symposium is often thought to be a writers' conference, which it is not in a traditional sense. Our focus is not so much the craft of writing and the business of getting published. The heart of the symposium lies in ideas--the substance of the writer's work. Most years, we incorporate one-on-one manuscript critiques with guest faculty for anyone interested. The week's activities include two participant readings where we encourage people to share their work. And the schedule has room for spontaneous writing groups to meet and talk about their particular writing interests. So while writing is incorporated into the Symposium, it is a gathering for thinkers of all kinds--writers, readers, and anyone else interested in the year's theme.

For details about dates, registration fees, and the current year's program, please check the Institute's Web site: For information about Sitka, go to And feel free to contact us with any questions.

The Island Institute
Box 2420
Alaska 99835
907-747-3794 Fax 907-747-6554

Listen to Audio
IBM Text to Speech

  Contact Us       LitSite Alaska, Copyright © 2000 - 2023. All rights reserved. UAA / University of Alaska Anchorage.
University of Alaska Anchorage